The Macomb Daily
DSO concerto world premiere leads weekend music lineup
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra heralds the arrival of a potential new classic this weekend.
Sandwiched between familiar pieces from Tchaikovsky (“Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture”) and Shostakovich (“Symphony No. 5”) will be the World Premiere of “Glasslands,” a saxophone concerto by British composer Anna Clyne. The piece, she says in a statement, is inspired by soloist Jess Gillam, who will be performing the concerto with the DSO on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19.
“One of the things that I particularly enjoy about writing concerti is the collaborative aspect and trying to capture the musical spirit of the soloist,” Clyne explains. “Before writing a note, I listened to many of Jess’s recordings and was immediately struck by the range of emotions she communicates through her playing, so I knew that I wanted to write a piece that covers a lot of emotional and sonic territory. “There’s also a vibrancy to Jess’s musical personality, so I also wanted to have moments of playfulness in the piece.”
Clyne adds that during one of their meetings Gillam demonstrated “lots of extended techniques” for the soprano saxophone, which the composer made use of in the opening segment “Glasslands” — “a very high gesture marked ‘wailing’ which unleashes the banshee, a female spirit who, in Irish folklore, heralds the death of a family member, usually by wailing, shrieking, or keening in the silence of the night.”
The “Glasslands” program will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Saturday’s show will be streamed as part of the “Live From Orchestra Hall” series. 313-576-5111 or dso.org.